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Celtics lose Tatum, Smart to injuries vs. Magic

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum exited Sunday’s game against the Orlando Magic early after suffering a left shin contusion in the first quarter.

He was later joined by Marcus Smart, who suffered a hip contusion in the third quarter.

Tatum missed two shots and didn’t score in six minutes before his injury. He is averaging 15.9 points per game in his second season with the Celtics.

Smart had six points and four steals in 19 minutes prior to his teammate-assisted exit. He’s averaging 8.9 ppg and 4 apg for Boston, having started most of the season in the backcourt alongside Kyrie Irving.

He left with 6:15 remaining in the third, helped off by trainers and holding his left side after banging hips with Magic center Nikola Vucevic. The team initially said it was a left hip contusion. Smart could still be seen limping as he left the arena after the game.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Smart was subsequently diagnosed with a strained oblique and will be re-evalutated in the coming days. In the postgame news conference, coach Brad Stevens corrected that to an oblique “bruise” that he said was less severe than a strain.

“Marcus Smart has an oblique bruise, which means he got hit right there,” Stevens said after the game, per the Boston Herald. “And so, I guess that’s better than a strain or whatever, but we’ll see what that looks like tomorrow. He was a little sore but was walking around, which was good, in the locker room. So obviously, I’m glad we got out of there without anything else after that.”

Stevens also said Tatum might have suffered his injury previously.

“Tatum had a shin contusion that evidently he had before the game, and I didn’t know about it,” Stevens said. “But he just said it felt a little off when he jumped, so, you know, hopefully it’s nothing major, but he’ll get checked out tonight and tomorrow and we’ll go from there.”

After the game, it sounded like Stevens would not be playing Tatum or Smart — or several other Boston mainstays — in the team’s regular-season finale Tuesday against the Washington Wizards.

“The point of tonight was to try to — because we won’t play [a playoff game] ’til Saturday, maybe Sunday — was to get a true game for some of our starters and our top seven or eight guys,” Stevens said. “But those guys will play a lot less on Tuesday, if at all.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.